Updated: 06/28/2014 6:10 PM
Created: 06/28/2014 4:47 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Law enforcement personnel are there to serve and protect communities, but a retiring workforce means many open positions. There are 61 new recruits are ready to take on the duty after graduating from the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College on Saturday.
The students displayed discipline by following drill commands before their graduation ceremony. With training completed they will move on to become neighborhood cops or patrol state highways. Graduate Luke Renier said he's always wanted to take on the duty.
“When I got to college age my dad and friends asked me what I wanted to do, and it was always law enforcement. I couldn't really see myself doing anything else,” Renier said.
He said his father being a Duluth police officer was a big influence.
“Growing up my dad was obviously in law enforcement so he'd come home every day and tell us about it. It sounded like a lot of fun,” Renier said.
He hopes to serve the community he grew up in, but he said he and his classmates are ready to go where ever they're needed.
“They don't want this day to come because we all are good friends now, but everyone's looking forward to getting a job where ever they can and trying to make a difference,” Renier said.
It's a duty they don't take on for the glory according to Skills Coordinator Joel Olejnicak.
“It's a very rewarding job that not a lot of thank yous are passed out, but at the same time there is a lot of self-pride in this job,” Olejnicak said.
He expressed pride in the graduates who went through a lot to complete their training.
“We make them shoot, drive and fight outside, as far as defensive tactics, all those things. It doesn't matter what the weather is we're going to be outside because that's reality. That's what they're going to be facing in the next couple months when they get a job,” Olejnicak said.
He said many officers are near retirement, which opens up jobs for the next generation of law enforcement.
“There's places hiring every single day,” Olejnicak said.
After taking an oath of honor on Saturday, the graduates will head into communities across the country taking on the duty to serve and protect.
MN Congressional Delegation and Lt. Gov. Meet at White House About Steel Imports
Minnesota's federal lawmakers met with officials at the White House on Friday, to press their case about the problem of steel imports.
Gogebic Taconite Withdraws Wisconsin Application
The state Department of Natural Resources says a company that was looking to open a huge iron mine in northern Wisconsin has officially withdrawn its plans. Gogebic Taconite was considering digging a 4½-mile long mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior but announced last month it was closing its office in Hurley and future investment in the project wasn't feasible.
Girls-Only Shop Class Aims to Narrow Industry Gender Gaps
More women are now pursuing STEM fields, but there's still huge gender gaps in industries like manufacturing, machining and carpentry. a girls-only shop class at one Northland high school might be a way to change that.
Up, Up, and Away: Rare View of Duluth from Hot Air Balloon
Duluth residents were treated to a fairly rare sight over the city on Friday afternoon: two hot air balloons. The pair took off from Bayfront Festival Park around 4:15 p.m. as an effort to drum up excitement about this year's hot air balloon festival in September.
FEMA Awards Grant to Lake County to Mitigate Structure Fires
FEMA has awarded Lake County, Minnesota over $500,000 in a grant for the addition of metal roofing to 65 residential and commercial structures. Construction on some of the buildings can start as soon as the roofing season in northeastern Minnesota begins.